Possibly one of the most influential people who defined the modern scientific method, is Isaac Newton. Natural Philosophy was a combination of observation of the natural world and theory about that observation. Isaac Newton in his work on Optics had shown a method of objective observation of the natural world and pointed out that he would not infer causes. Newton, however, was of the opinion that his own work showed God as cause for forces in the motion he observed in the Universe. No-one has shown otherwise. No one has answered Newton’s point that there has to be a currently acting cause of the huge force holding planets and moons in circling motion. As Newton pointed out such an ordered force could not arise from nothing, and it is not a historical force, but a current force, acting moment-by-moment, even now.
Unfortunatly some started writing philosophy about natural philosophy (and Newton’s and others findings), and began to define science as the observation of the material world. Some came up with the idea that the universe was governed by mechanical laws.
The most sucessful science has been the observation of currently occuring phenomena. It has resulted in extraordinary advances since the objective method of experiment and observation became dominant (mainly intially in England). Everything from telecommunication to nano-particles, to advances in medicine. Because of the success of repeatable experiment, science now favours theory based on repeatable verifiable results.
Experimental science confirms Bible observations of day-to-day repeating phenomena, in the few instances where the Bible makes such observations. The langauge may be different, but the substance of the observations is the same. An example observation is,
Nahum 3:17: Your crowned are as the locusts, and your captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in the cold day, but when the sun arises they flee away, and their place is not known where they are. KJV
In addition modern observations confirm the value of the Law of Moses, especially in relationship to hygiene. Hygiene has practical effects on human life. Merely following the law would have prevented the extremely high mortality in giving birth in Europe that was experienced for hundreds of years until doctors began washing their hands properly between dead patient and women giving birth. The Jewish population was more advanced of the Europeans they lived amongst because of the Bible’s Law.
Newton referred to a Cause, but did not include that into the scope of his observations. Modern science has many explanations of mechanisms of natural events, but tends to fail in explaining causes. Earthquakes and destructive storms are a case in point. There are good descriptions for the mechanisms of these phenomena, or how they happene once they begin, but there has been little advance on the ultimate causes of these things. In effect they don’t know why the concentration of energy should be in one place and why it’s not more uniform.
If the issue of Causes is a problem for regularly observed events in science, the problem of ‘Origins’ is even greater. Fundamentally any explanations about ‘origins’ fo eny phenomena is about events in the past that are not occurring now. They are not repeatable, and they are not testable. There is the science of Forensics, but forensic conclusions are far less certain than, say a laboratory experiment on the growth of an organism.
When scientists are talking about origins of the universe or of life, they are talking about history. As such it belongs to teh disciple of history and should be judged by the same standards as the examination of what happened in other history, as say for example, the settlement of America. In historical study both archealogical evidence and any written evidence is used. Sources closest to the evensts not withstanding bias, are more valued. When there is a lack of evidence of any sort, the result is speculation. An expert’s speculation may not be any more valuable, than another who has an interest in the area or field of study.
Some thoughts on the Speculation of Origins
Due to the Bible’s claims in Genesis there is no half way position on origins. The New Testament speaks of events as literal history, and as examples that may be applied to our lives. More that it is states with authority that Jesus was literally descended from Adam, through his mother Mary.
Those studying Darwin have noted that with God in the process only the right variations occur, which is creationism, and not natural selection. (Himmelfarb, G, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution. Garden city NY Doubleday Anchor 1959, 329-30). The point is that the whole theory rests on events occurring without a Creator as divine intervention. If there is any intervention at all the theory fails.
The Evolutionary paradigm is more about a world view than about forensic science. The reason for its success is that people want to believe it, not because its true but it makes them feel unconcerned about breaking God’s laws (which have been a kind of social pressure in Anglo-Western society). For this reason the supporters of the theory have maintained many scientific ‘proofs’ even when found to be untrue or lies.
There are now many vocal scientists supporting Creation or Intelligent Design as support who Evolution, and they have the stronger evidence. They have as evidence a Law: The law of biogenesis. Louis Pasteur made the observation that living things can come only from other living things by reproduction and that life cannot arise from non-living material.
Evolution presupposes that all life, of itself, came from building blocks. All agree there has been biological change (little ‘e’ evolution). This was observed by as variation within Biblical ‘kinds’ even before Darwin, and is the the foundation of animal and plant breeding. In fact creationists are amoung the leading researchers in this area. But Evolution proposes that all living creatures descended from a common one and the variation was the result of natural selection on random genetic mutations.
If there is, in analogy, ‘programmed’ variation, and it seems there increasing evidence there is some, the problem for Evolution is that it is established that for a program to exist and function it requires a non-material aspect ‘information’, which in turn requires both an author and a recipient.
The discredited icons of evolution equal a kind of mythology.
- 1. The Miller-Urey experiment of 1953: Using electricity though an idealised atmosphere to create amino acids is still often featured as evidence. The problem is that the assumptions are now discredited. We cannot know what the atmosphere was like in the past but by 1995 all the experts agreed Miller’s was not possible, as if it was hydrogen rich it would have escaped into space. When something more realistic is used as an atmosphere the books will say organic molecules are acheived, but they don’t say what these are (as they achieve the organic molecules of formaldehyde and cyanide!) Which is why not much is made of the later experiments. In addition even if a molecule was achieved, it has been shown by the increasing knowledge since 1953 to be further and further from being even enough to begin to have a living cell, as dozens of the right kinds of protein molecules are required in the right sequence, and even then there is a huge gap between a lump of chemicals and a living cell. Even if electricity or energy makes the building blocks of life, the chances of life vanish so small as to be in the realms of miracle. Despite this being known as a dead end it is still published in some textbooks. As yet no experimental evidence (despite much effort) including investigation of chemical affinity, self ordering tendencies seeding from space deep sea ocean vents clay and pre-biotic chemicals not one has been able to withstand experimental scientific scrutiny. With greater an greater knowledge the gap becomes wider for an explanation of how life could have arisen – in fact they have found evidence for ‘miracle’ and intelligence! The odds are so absurdly high as there are so many conditions that have to be right for even one cell, let alone the complexity on complexity that is even the simplest life form. They are further in the 2000’s from explaining how life could have arisen than in 1953.
- 2. Darwin’s tree of life.There has been 120 years of discovery of fossils since Darwin drew the tree that represents well his theory of successive changes. However the tree is not supported by the discoveries. Even in Darwin’s day the fossils failed to represent the theory as they seemed to appear suddenly in the Cambrian explosion. There were some jelly fish sponges and worms prior then suddenly the variety of life much as we see today (except some are extinct). Some still hope for something to emerge from the fossil record but one discovery is unlikely to balance the weight of existing discoveries. Evolutionist now are investigating molecular evidence for a common ancestor, however there is no agreement. Also, though in species, there may be a common ancestor at the next level at the level of Phyla the evidence now cannot support a common ancestor. That is each arose independently and the tree has been discredited by scientific discovery. According to Jonathan Wells icons of evolution Washington DC Regnery 2000. Darwin’s tree is not even a good hypothesis-and any scientist in the field should know. But yet this tree still appears in some textbooks.
- 3.Haeckel’s embryos:Earnest Haeckel’s drawings of embryo’s but when actual photos are compared they didn’t match. He was actually exposed in 1860 (note photography is possible but even today they use the drawings!!) Haeckel had used the same woodcut. He also picked only examples that were similar to start with, then made them look more similar. Also he omitted the earlies stages when they don’t even remotely look alike- at the midpoint of development some become a bit more similar then become very different again. Real photos of embryos show that there is no similarity between mammals and fish, or even between mammals in some cases. The real evidence shows more difference than similarity. Any similarity seen was wishful thinking at best or fraud at worst. That some use this example as evidence for the theory now shows they are willing to accept fraud.
- 4. Gills: Evolutionists as late as 1996 presented say that human embryos at one stage have gill like structures on their necks as amongst the strongest evidence for evolution. But humans and other mammals necks are bent and the ridges reflect this. They are not gills, and certainly never are gill slits. Even fish in the same stage don’t have gills. Due to Haeckel there once was a theory that embryos show characteristics of their evolutionary history, but it has never been empirically supported, and has been dropped even by evolutionists. Any resemblance is an illusion, like seeing a butterfly in an inkblot.
- 5. Homology in vertebrate limbs”There are drawings depicting the similar bone structures in a bats wing, a porpoise flipper, a horse leg and a human hand. The idea is that because they look a bit similar they may have a common ancestor. But homology ideas were well published before Darwin by Richard Owen as evidence of a common designer who used an ‘archetype’. (Any designer knows they creatively recycle ideas). In fact any line up of man made items such cars (as was made by Tim Berra in 1990) shows how a design process with a Creator would produce similarity. Darwin supporters had an idea of ‘common developmental pathways’ where different animals have a pathway to a similar embryo, but this has been found to be untrue. So now no scientist studies the development from embryo to adult to support evolution. Another idea is that they had similar genes, but this has been proven to be mostly untrue also. Many animals have similar genes and very different features for example mouse and octopus eyes have a superficial similarity. A mouse eye is nothing like the eye of a fruit fly yet a mouse gene in a fruit fly can make a fruit fly eye! In any case the fact that there is similar DNA is no more convincing evidence, as it is also very good evidence also for a common Creator. Human Genes and Ape genes: Humans may have 98% similar genes to apes. However it turns out the 2% different are not body building genes and no-one can explain how the two are therefore so different. A designer may use the same bits to make 2 different designs. The building blocks may be the same but the outcome very different, as how it is put together is the product of intelligence.
- 6. The Archaeopteryx missing link:Darwin himself pointed out that the most serious objection to his theory was the failure of the fossil record. Whereas in 1859 it was possible to believe more fossils would be found, now it is not. The Archaeopteryx was found in Germany in 1861. It was thought at the time to be a missing link, but now it is known to be a bird with feathers like modern birds and is not even considered an ancestor of modern birds, merely an extinct species. In addition they have since found more reptile like forms -dated after the Archaeopteryx. They have found no series of fossils that could be considered transitions. That one fossil has a mixture of features is no more evidence of evolution than design. The problem is we have a platypus sharing features of both ducks and marsupials. But no-one can say how it made the transition from one to the other. In any case one or even two examples are not enough as everywhere there a huge number of types in the fossils and with many fossils found, many transitions need to have been found, and it is simply not the case. Species seem to arrived suddenly, stayed much the same within the type then become extinct . The lack of evidence has even lead to fraud. Also embarrassingly for some scientists, before thinking they published in Science they had found modern turkey DNA in dinosaur bones. Even modern birds don’t have DNA exactly like turkeys so it was known he must have had a contaminated sample.
- 7. Java Man:Bones found in 1891-2 on an Indonesian island, became the foundation of a theory of a hairy ape-like man with large jaw and very little forehead. Unfortunately all the images are based on is a skullcap, 3 teeth and a thigh bone. The rest is speculation. In addition the excavation was so poorly carried out few would give much consideration to the findings now as the thigh bone may not have even belonged to the skullcap. Recent scholarship suggests the skullcap has a brain capacity well within variation in humans found today and that the remains were human.
Though many fossils are found the amount of fossil evidence for human ancestors is very small, often consisting of a bit of skull or teeth. There is not enough evidence to form a theory on. A paleo-anthropologist has analysed Evolutionary narratives and found they have much in common with the structure of ‘folk tales’ and nothing in common with experimental science methodology.
The Evolutionary theory is now in such crisis with regard to the evidence there is even a theory called “punctuated equilibrium” to explain the very obvious fossil gaps. This theory asks even more, postulating that radically new species developed rapidly in isolation and turned up suddenly. But this theory has been criticised much by Evolutionists, even though it fits the fossil record well, as it doesn’t help in providing an explanation.
Due to the many dead ends Evolutionary science is moribund, and increasingly outpaced by experimental developments. The scientists breaking new ground now may be creationists, as they often were, or intelligent design proponents, as the case for design has been supported by increasing amounts of evidence.
Once an evolutionist could have had some kind of blind acceptance of the idea and hoped for evidence to appear but hard results from experimental science, have discredited every possible theory so far. In addition the probability of evidence for the idea ever being found is now approaching virtually impossible. As the evidence mounts for interconnected design, it’s easier to have an evidence based faith in the idea of a Designer than in blind chance.
There’s just so much more evidence for design than there is for chance.
The first Christians spoke always of the evidence. Their faith was based on many eye witness accounts of a resurrection. This came out from a Hebrew culture where every step of the way, the God of the nation had given evidence of his power, that people from other nations could see.
Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” KJV
It is sobering to think on it and write down, no matter what you belive, what solid evidence do you have for what you believe? As the world is full of ideas, many of them contradictory, if you can’t think of any evidence why is what you believe better than another’s idea?